Sangakkara stars in Kings XI Punjab win

April 26th, 2008 - 2:03 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Mohali, April 25 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab opened their account in the Indian Premier League in a blazing fashion, registering a huge 66 run victory over Mumbai Indians Friday night. Stung by two defeats in a row, the Yuvraj Singh-led Kings XI snatched their first win in the tournament.

After winning the toss, Kings XI were helped to a challenging 182 with Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara (94) playing a classy innings. Mumbai Indians could reach only 116 for nine. Kings XI bowling line-up was charged up and conjured up one of the best performances of the tournament so far to hand over Mumbai Indians their third defeat.

Brett lee (1-9) bowled a fiery spell upfront to rock the opposition with his pace and bounce. Young Piyush Chawla (2-16) also bolwed an impressive spell while Sreesanth (2-31) V.R.V. Singh (1-40), Irfan Pathan (2-19) never allowed the batsmen to settle down.

The emotionally charged match got the better of Sreesanth, who wept like a child after tasting his first IPL victory.

Kings XI were also brilliant on the field and skipper Yuvraj Singh led from the front with an amazing one-handed catch at covers to remove Shaun Pollock (22).

Mumbai Indians were hampered with their skipper Sachin Tendulkar sitting outside again with a groin injury.

Stand-in skipper Harbhajan Singh decided to field after winning the toss but Sangakkara splashed water on his hopes with a single-handed effort.

The Sri Lankan also managed to overtake Brendon McCullum as the tournament’s leading scorer. Sangakkara drove with power and used his supple wrists to great effect while gliding the ball to boundaries. His innings was studded with 13 sweetly timed boundaries and one six.

Irfan Pathan was sent in to open along with Karan Goel but Pathan fell to a poor shot off Ashish Nehra in the second over. Goel cut his lip when a Bravo bouncer crashed on his helmet grill. Goel replied with a six off Bravo. Sangakkara and Goel (18) then added 73 runs before the latter fell short of his crease to a Bravo throw.

Yuvraj Singh (18) joined Sangakkara and looked formidable. He hit a huge six off Shaun Pollock but the veteran South African had the last laugh when the left-hander tried to smash another one but Bravo took a brilliant catch in long-off boundary.

Sangakkara, though, kept his cool and held the innings even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end.

Harbhajan Singh (3-32) was the pick of the bowlers cleaning up Mahela Jayawerdena for just 12 and removing Sangakkara six short of his century.

During the Kings XI’s bowling, Lee troubled the openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Luke Ronchi with his scorching pace.

Jayasuriya drove a delivery straight to Lee, who bent down to lap a brilliant low catch in his follow through. The athletic Lee, in the next ball of the third over, dived and aimed a throw at the stumps to run out Ronchi.

Wickets kept tumbling for Mumbai Indians as V.R.V. Singh removed dangerous Robin Uthappa (21) while Piyush Chawla bowled an outstanding spell foxing Dwayne Bravo (23) and Saurabh Tiwari .

Irfan Pathan joined the part and stood on the verge of a hat-trick after dismissing Abhishek Nayar and Harbhajan Singh.

Pollock stood among ruins before Yuvraj took a stunning catch to clear the hurdle for his teams win. Yuvraj leapt in the air and took a one-handed spectacle in covers off the bowling off Sreesanth as Pollock left the ground in disbelief.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |